June 7, 2013 at 1:59 PM #52293
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Do Or Die Time for the Pittsburgh Penguins – Bruins Attempt Sweep Friday
The Pittsburgh Penguins finally showed up in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Final series with the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night but unfortunately for them – the result was the same as the two previous games when they were skated out of the arena by the Bruins. The Pens managed 54 shots on goal, they won more faceoffs, threw more hits, and committed fewer giveaways than the Bruins. They dominated long stretches of the most important game of their season Wednesday night but still lost a Double-Overtime thriller to put them in a 3-0 hole in the series. Game 4 goes Friday night with the Penguins clinging to life and the Bruins looking poised to dispatch the juggernaut Pens.
Pittsburgh Penguins (44-16-2-0) at Boston Bruins (39-17-4-3)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, June 7, 2013
Where: TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Broadcast: CBC, RDS, NBCSN
Boston Leads series 3-0
Pens vs. Bruins Betting Lines from betonline.com
Pittsburgh Penguins +1½ -285 +114 Ov 5½ +118
Boston Bruins -1½ +240 -125 Un 5½ -130
The Pittsburgh Penguins did everything but put the puck in the net Wednesday night firing 54 shots at Jonathan Quick but converting just once. They get another crack at their kryptonite Friday night but this time a loss will mean that their season ends.
The Pens have been outscored 11-2 in the series so far but they were at least competitive in Game 3. Sidney Crosby still hasn’t recorded a point, Evgeni Malkin is pointless in the series and the vaunted power play has yet to connect in the series so far – unbelievable. Here are some other names that hit the struggling list for the Pens. Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz each have 1 point in 4 games, Brenden Morrow, Jussi Jokinen and James Neal are pointless in three games and Jarome Iginla has not recorded a point in four games. Ugly! As mentioned the Penguins appear to be trending upward and had their best game offensively of the series Wednesday night – Crosby was engaged and Malkin looked very dangerous.
It’s pretty hard to blame Tomas Vokoun for the Game 3 loss – he was solid but Boston still wins the goaltending battle every night.
The Boston Bruins are a tad lucky to have escaped with a 2-1 win in Game 3 – Tuukka Rask was sensational stopping 53 of 54 shots. He has allowed just two goals in the three games and at times looks as though nobody is going to get one by him. Rask came up big time and time again Wednesday and may have officially gotten into the heads of the Penguins with that performance.
The Bruins once again got some stellar play from their top line in Game 3 – Nathan Horton (5 points in 3 games), David Krejci (the playoff scoring leader) and Milan Lucic (3 points in 3 games) were responsible for the first goal of the game and they brought constant pressure all night. They are clearly the best line in the series – surprising considering who the Pens can throw out each and every shift. It was the Patrice Bergeron line that eventually netted the winner. Along with Jaromir Jagr and Brad Marchand they too have looked like one of the best lines in hockey. Boston has an incredible 1-2 punch that shows zero signs of slowing down.
The injury bug has hit the Boston Bruins – arguably their best penalty killer Gregory Campbell sustained a broken leg in Game and will miss the remainder of the playoffs. That leaves a huge void on the PK which has been perfect in the series and also leaves a space to fill on Boston’s stellar fourth line.
A few trends to consider:
• PIT are 41-15 in their last 56 overall.
• PIT are 13-5 in their last 18 road games.
• PIT are 20-8 in their last 28 vs. Northeast.
• Under is 12-5-1 in BOS last 18 vs. Atlantic.
• Under is 8-1-1 in the last 10 meetings in Boston.
• Road team is 11-4 in the last 15 meetings.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are catching up to the Boston Bruins and probably deserved a better fate in Game 3. The omission of Gregory Campbell looms large – the Bruins chemistry has been absolutely undeniable throughout and a power play goal here and there could have changed the outcome of a couple of games in this series. Pittsburgh is finally onto something – they get their first win of the series Friday night and take it back to Pittsburgh for at least one more game.
Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins +114
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